So, my new job is "Leading Teacher -Personalised Learning". So what on earth does that mean? Well, apart from developing an holistic strategy to assessment, data, learning portfolios and pedagogy in terms of personalising the learning and school experience (takes a breath) I am building upon the excellent work already happening in a subject called "Personal learning". Personal learning is a kind of learn to learn/PSHE mash up which has the intention of boosting students' learning power (if I can borrow Guy Claxton's phrase) in their first year at JMSS. The course is built around developing the skills, attributes and knowledge of succesful learners. The attributes we are working from come from UNESCO's four pillars of Education and are summarised here.
To give a brief taste of the year view, we will be moving from quite tightly planned learning experiences helping the students to reflect on themselves as learners, give them some learning tools such as graphic organisers, SOLO taxonomy, de Bono's Thinking Hats etc, up to their own design thinking challenge for the last term. ( I was inspired, as ever, by NoTosh to take part in a brilliant design thinking process in England in October- read about it here).
Throughout this, the aim is to use realsmart as a portfolio which gathers evidence of the process of learning as well as the outcomes and is owned by the learners (that is the trick; developing reflective learners who are motivated to reflect independently for a reason!) Below is the skeleton for the learning portfolio I am going to use although students can design their own.
So we are starting off by deciding, together, what skills, knowledge and attributes we wish to have developed after 3 years at JMSS and then we are going to decide how we go about it. There is a year overview, there are a few lesson plans and a structure but their are still huge gaps in "my" planning for personal learning this year and I hope it is from those gaps that the best learning will come!
What I love about the John Monash Science School mission is that it is not about preparing students for the future they will inherit, but it also recognises that we need to make our students confident and capable enough to create their own world and have a positive impact on those around them. I hope that personal learning can help them realise this.
"The Mission of John Monash Science School is to develop in all our students the skills, attributes, knowledge and balanced perspectives which will best enable them to make a positive difference to the world they will both inherit and co-create."